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Just when you thought there was no chance Richie Incognito would resurface in the NFL, the Oakland Raiders proved everyone wrong.
Incognito is back in the NFL after a year off, signing a one-year deal with the Raiders on Tuesday.
Incognito has been a Pro Bowl player, but it seemed like his time in the NFL was done after some erratic behavior in 2018 that included some serious legal charges.
Richie Incognito had legal troubles in 2018
Incognito’s 2018 was troubling in many ways. And that’s long removed from the Miami Dolphins locker room bullying scandal that made him famous to even casual fans.
Last year, Incognito said he was retiring from the Buffalo Bills, then shortly after that said he was looking forward to reporting to the offseason program. The Bills cut Incognito despite their holes on the offensive line. Later in the offseason, Incognito profanely ripped Vikings coach Mike Zimmer after Zimmer said his team wasn’t interested in signing Incognito.
All of that was minor compared to stories about Incognito’s threats to others, first at a gym and then at a funeral home.
Incognito was detained for an involuntary mental evaluation after he allegedly threw tennis balls and a dumbbell at a person at a Boca Raton, Florida, gym last May. Incognito reportedly told police when they arrived that he believed he was an NSA agent. He said he thought ordinary people were government agents tracking and recording him.
Then last August, at a funeral home in Scottsdale, Arizona after his father’s death, Incognito allegedly said he had guns in his vehicle and “would shoot people.” He allegedly damaged property at the funeral home. In April, Incognito accepted a deal to avoid jail time in the case, pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.
Incognito might help Raiders’ line
Because of Incognito’s past, this isn’t just an unusual story about a Pro Bowl player being out of football for a year and returning before his 36th birthday, though that is odd too.
Incognito made the Pro Bowl in all three of his Bills seasons from 2015-17 (after another season in NFL exile in 2014, after the Dolphins scandal). The Raiders presumably think Incognito can still help their offensive line, even at age 36.
Incognito has had the type of NFL career that would be hard to find a comparison for. And it’s not done yet.
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